Margaret S Milligan

Tell us a little about what you do and why you love it?

I am a contemporary oil and pastel painter. I paint still life, figurative and portrait pieces. I love to draw and paint the human figure. I founded and still run the Kirkcudbright Life Drawing Group.

I like to have glass in my still life paintings, arranging my props can take as long as it takes to render the painting, the lighting is all important.

I teach drawing and painting in the winter months and run a variety of summer workshops each year, as well as open my studio twice a month, June to September.

What makes Dumfries and Galloway special to you?

I was born in Wigtownshire and I attended school there. Whithorn and the Isle of Whithorn have a special place in my heart.

I have lived in Kirkcudbright all my married life. I give thanks every day, no matter the weather, that I live and work in such a beautiful place. I am very lucky.

What projects are you involved in right now?

I am in the middle of a number of portrait and pet portraits. I like to work on more than one at a time, it helps to walk away from a painting, see where you are going, and come back with fresh eyes to the piece. I am working on a couple of linocut projects, a new avenue, I am finding the whole process very exciting.

Hopes, ambitions or plans for 2016?

I have recently set up a printing area within my studio. After spending some time with renowned printer Jenny Stringer, I would like to get into this medium in more depth, especially printing on fabric, which appeals greatly. I have a lot to learn but with loads of ideas buzzing in my head, doing is the only way forward!

I also want to get back to more figurative painting, having spent the last three years working almost exclusively on still life, I am ready to get going. My twice weekly life drawing has kept my hand in. Previously my figurative pieces have all been in soft pastel but now I am keen to use my oils.

I also want to paint outside more, I have a painter friend I can get out there with, safety in numbers, and people tend to not crowd in, when there is more than one of you!

Have you always been in this role – or have you/do you do anything else?

I have drawn my entire life. As a child, it was always faces and figures…nothing changed much there, then! Painting was the follow on, painting my own children as they grew up but like many, getting my head down and seriously painting, didn’t happen till my family left home.

Tell us something not everyone knows about you

I have owned a sewing machine since I was sixteen and have always harboured plans of making my own clothes……one day!

Margaret S Milligan